Parents at the start of the school holidays fall into one of three camps.
The first can be identified by the social media updates packed with references to gin, urgent play-date requests and confirmation that the children do go back on 5 September, don’t they? What’s that? An inset day? Oh give me strength! These parents will have sourced every holiday camp and away-day within a twenty mile radius, as the sight of a blank diary page will require a lie-down and a shot of Rescue Remedy.
The second type of parent will have spent the last fortnight of term cyber-whooping about the forthcoming holidays. They are now spending every day immersed in a plethora of intellectually enhancing, creatively stimulating activities, popping back to Twitter only to post smug photographs and to sigh about how marvellous it would be if they could only home-educate…
I sit firmly in the third camp. Here are the parents who look forward to the school holidays simply because it means no school run; no packed lunches; no PE kits to wash; no cheques to send into school; no early starts. The summer holidays indulge our laziness for six glorious weeks, and if we go insane in the process? Well, it’s a small price to pay for a lie-in. We don’t seek out play-dates, spend a fortune on day-trips or buy up half of Hobbycraft. Instead we let the children turn feral and, if challenged, we solemnly explain we are ‘free-range parenting.’ It’s not laziness – it’s a Guardian-esque lifestyle choice.